Aviation Innovator Uses SolidWorks And COSMOS To Power Design Of New Class Of Aircraft

3D CAD and analysis products help Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc. develop advanced gyroplanes and gyrodynes for recreational, law enforcement, commercial, and military uses

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—June 28, 2006— A Salt Lake City aviation company is using SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD and COSMOSWorks(R) analysis software to propel design of the gyroplane and the gyrodyne, driving what it calls "the third wave" of flight.

A gyroplane looks like a helicopter and flies using a rotorwing similar to a helicopter, but it also uses a propeller typical of a light airplane. Unlike a helicopter, however, a gyroplane's rotor system is not driven by the engine, which only powers the propeller for forward thrust. The forward movement of the aircraft forces air through the blades, causing them to autorotate and thereby creating lift. Since the gyroplane is always in autorotation, it is inherently safer and quieter than a helicopter, and because it does not need a transmission to the main rotor or a tailrotor, it is simpler, more reliable, and robust, and much more economical to operate than a helicopter.

A gyroplane can be very effective for many missions, such as surveillance and patrol work, but it cannot perform missions that require the hovering capability of a helicopter or a gyrodyne. A gyrodyne has a powered rotor, but only for take-off, hovering, and landing. It powers the rotor, not by mechanical transmission from the engine, but by means of small tipjets on each blade that are typically shutdown in forward flight when the aircraft operates as a gyroplane in autorotation. As a result, the gyrodyne is inherently capable of greater speed and useful load than a comparable helicopter, while maintaining a significant advantage in robustness and economy.

GBA's initial developments have been in gyroplanes. The company has sold more than 100 of its two-seat SparrowHawk gyroplane kits and is developing a light sport aircraft (LSA) for recreational use. Its Rolls Royce gas turbine-powered Hawk 4 four-seater, the world's first commercially viable modern gyroplane, was used extensively for security aerial patrol missions at the Salt Lake City International Airport during the 2002 Winter Olympics. GBA has now expanded its activities to the gyrodyne and is working under a $6.4 million government contract to design a high-speed, long-range "Heliplane" for the Department of Defense that exploits its gyrodyne technology.

"The Heliplane is transformational technology that has the real potential of changing the way people get around, whether they're soldiers, commuters, or travelers," said David Groen, president and CEO of GBA. "SolidWorks software has supported us in a decade of development and is helping us drive our latest projects. We've considered other 3D CAD tools but have found SolidWorks to be the best software for our product and tooling design because of its ease of use, intuitive interface, and wide range of capabilities. Our goal is designing better products, and these are the tools that let us do it."

GBA uses COSMOSXpress(TM) software, included in SolidWorks, to run preliminary analyses on parts and assemblies. Engineers use COSMOSWorks software to analyze a multitude of different load vectors on its high-tech composite rotor blades: in-line stiffness, bending loads, twisting loads, bending loads at the tip, bending loads in mid-blade, and many more. It's a complex task with forces shifting dramatically at each point in the rotation. The company also uses the SolidWorks eDrawings(R) communication tool to cost-effectively share designs with suppliers and employees who are away from the office.

"Aviation is one of the most exciting realms of design engineering," said Rainer Gawlick, SolidWorks vice president of worldwide marketing. "Sometimes the goal is an incremental improvement. On other occasions, it's developing an entirely new class of product that could make a dramatic impact on the world. Groen Brothers is clearly aiming for the big impact, and we are proud to offer high-performing software that will enable the company to set itself apart."

Groen Brothers Aviation works with authorized SolidWorks reseller GoEngineer for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Groen Brothers Aviation, Inc.

Developing gyroplane technology since 1986, GBA is recognized as the world's leading authority on autorotative flight. Further information about the company, its products, and about individual members of the GBA Team is available on the Company's Web site at: www.gbagyros.com.

About GoEngineer

GoEngineer(R), Inc. is a unique business partner for companies that design, engineer, and manufacture products, helping customers enhance business processes and realize competitive advantage through their software investment. GoEngineer is a leading North American reseller of SolidWorks product design software, and of Agile Advantage product lifecycle management (PLM) software for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). JumpStart(SM) is GoEngineer's unique, fixed-price, best-practices-based implementation service. State-of-the-art GoEngineer regional training centers located within a reasonable driving distance of major customers save on travel expense while ensuring skill levels remain high for greatest productivity. Tech support staff with real-world expertise in design, engineering, and manufacturing ensures that customers' businesses are productive, efficient, and competitive. Over 4,000 customers have made GoEngineer their business partner. Learn more at goengineer.com.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, providing intuitive, high-performing software that helps product design teams develop great products. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks and eDrawings are registered trademarks and COSMOSXpress is a trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOS and COSMOSWorks are registered trademarks of Structural Research & Analysis Corp. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.

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